Although in all honesty we really did not have a good time on this trip and an even worse one afterwards, I still gave this experience "ok" marks and I'll explain. We took our 8 and 9 year old boys with us on a Saturday morning 3 hour trip. We emailed the owner asking for his recommendations for what kind of trip would be appropriate for younger boys but we wanted them to experience New Mexico. He recommended the three hour tour just in case they got bored so we booked it. We met our guide in a grocery store parking lot and were on our way. About a 10 minute drive later we crossed over into a private area and the tour began. The tour started fairly loose beginning with our driver saying we need to sign a waiver document to get started, then realized he had no pen and said forget about it. It kept that informal feel through the entire trip, which is probably what set this up for disaster. We sat with my wife in the front seat and me between the two boys in the back.
The tour is basically wherever the guide thinks he needs to go on this ranch. To a non native New Mexico visitor basically what this ranch is 20,000 acres of wide open country side. The driver takes you around to locations and you stop at various places to look at things. You'll see wild horses and various other animals. The main point of the tour besides getting some pretty sweeping views of the area is to stop and see ruins of ancient residents who left behind drawings on the rocks and old remnants of homes and things like broken pottery.
I have two complaints about this experience, one which applies to everyone, and the other just for folks with kids. We paid $310 for this three hour experience and we just didn't feel at the time it was worth that kind of money. Riding in a jeep and stopping and looking at broken pottery or a place where someone marked on a rock stopped being truly interesting after the first hour or so. We really liked being outside in the open country though which was nice, but for the price and knowing what I know now I would have skipped the experience. For those truly interested in this type of stuff feel free to disagree, but we've seen a lot in our travels and this doesn't make the top 500 list of cool things we've seen. For someone with truly more interest in this type of stuff I can see how it would be a great experience.
Admittedly our experience was tainted afterwards when we got a nasty note from the owner. During the trip one of our boys had taken a rock from one of the sites and obviously they are very protective of them. He had left it in the jeep and they put it back. He also accused us of damage to the sites and to the jeep and basically painted a picture of us being horrible parents. A word about what happened, as a good portion of what he said was true (except the bad parent part) - this is wide open countryside and basically you stop and allow the kids to run around as they get bored fairly quickly. The hard part with this tour is the guide points out a small area with something interesting in it like broken pottery but around that you're basically looking at your standard countryside so what do boys do? Climb on stuff and play. Obviously the guide saw that and seemed ok with it. After seeing pictographs he allowed our kids to pick up pieces of rock off the ground and write on them like the early settlers did. He allowed the kids to stand up in the jeep with their heads out the top while driving etc. Basically we figured this was all normal cruising around on private land in someone's jeep.
Long story short, what we found out afterwards was despite this place looking like a wide open countryside and really not getting a detailed prebrief about what kids could and couldn't do they treat this entire area like one giant museum. Based on what we got from our guide we treated this area like a 20,000 acre playground in the country with some specific sites you need to respect. We let our kids be somewhat free thinking the guide would tell us if he had concerns. They weren't hellions or unsupervised by any means, and frankly we received hardly any feedback about them on the trip. Afterwards we got an email from the owner basically making it sound like our kids destroyed the Mona Lisa and that we were completely negligent parents. When we got the email it completely destroyed my wife and I for several days. Nobody likes to be accused of being bad parents, and it made us feel so completely horrible. Our kids did break the rules so that really made us feel bad too, but from a customer service side the way it was done was completely unacceptable. The owner calmed down on the second email but the damage was done. We apologized and made it right but it really left a serious mark on us as we truly felt misled about the experience. Had we known this is how it's treated, or frankly had the guide even made a point that our kids weren't behaving this never would have happened. It was like he didn't want to make us upset by telling us our kids shouldn't be doing X or Y. Frankly I expect someone to say something if my kids are behaving improperly especially if I don't know what they're doing is wrong. To let it all happen in front of me then accuse us of being bad parents afterwards is completely wrong and frankly it still stings thinking about it.
All in all I just can't recommend this experience. Hopefully this explains why.